Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Merry Christmas from our house to yours …

20131224-092947.jpg

… Talulah (Russian Blue “watch cat”), Pandora (multi-colored California speckled “people cat”), Outback (Australian Cattle Dog, aka “CrazyDog”,which is said as all one word), Roy, and Jill …

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

20131224-085755.jpg

There’s nothing more to add here.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Read Full Post »

You know something? On this Christmas Eve, I am amazed by how many people think it’s best to “fit in” and “follow the crowd”. Why is this so? God made each of us to be a special being and to give our own special qualities to better the world and those around us. Being like the crowd and bending whichever way the cultural wind blows isn’t truly living life and giving of yourself. Don’t squelch your true soul. Let it shine and LIVE life. Be in the moment. What has being “PC” ever gotten anyone, other than a bland vanilla life?

BE THE KINDA PERSON THAT FASCINATES THOSE AROUND YOU.

BE THAT KINDA GUY!!!!!!

20131224-063559.jpg

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Read Full Post »

20131223-074954.jpg

 

You will never ever EVER get us to be “PC” about Christmas. PERIOD! (Oh, and unlike BO, the idiot occupying the White House, when *we* say “PERIOD”, we are not lying. We *mean* “PERIOD*!!!

 

So.

 

With that, we offer these:

20131223-075132.jpg

 

20131223-075212.jpg

 

20131223-075249.jpg

 

20131223-075808.jpg

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

 

20131223-080007.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

I work for the State of California Employment Development Department in the Unemployment Insurance Division on Capitol Mall in Sacramento, 2 blocks from the Capitol Building. I know I’ve said this before, but I am reiterating it for a reason.

I am quite well aware of what most people think of government workers and, in particular, state workers and, even more so, those of us blessed with working in Unemployment Insurance. You can’t fool me. I *know* what most of you think … that we are all lazy, stupid, overpaid, do-nothing’s, sucking off the taxpayers. (No, that would be people like BO, the current occupier of the White House, and his gang of crooks.).

Anyway!

Hold that thought close to your hearts and think about that throughout the Christmas season as you go to your parties.

Yesterday (Thursday) I worked from 7am to 6pm. I worked 7am to 5pm today (Friday). Tomorrow (Saturday) I’ll work 7am to 5pm yet again. Then on Sunday, I’ll work 9am to 4pm, just to get up on Monday and work 7am to 6pm (yes, that’s right … you read all of those hours correctly). Tuesday … Christmas Eve … I’ll work 7am to noon, taking the afternoon off, wanting to spend *some* Christmas time with my family. I have Christmas Day off since I hold that day to be a holy celebration. I’ll be at work the day after Christmas from 7am to 6pm yet again, as well as on Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I get Saturday off (woo) to attend my beloved daughter’s wedding shower (gee, we actually do have families and lives too). Then I get New Years Day off, when I’ll probably sleep all day, just to be back at it the day after. How many of you are willing to do that?

There may be some government workers that are lazy but there are many private industry workers that are too. My point is …. the vast majority of the government workers put their hearts and souls into what they do.

I get tired of the clichés.

Oh, hell, I just get TIRED.

20131220-174733.jpg

Read Full Post »

Sometimes you’ve got to take the heat,

If you’re gonna walk down on the mean street.

Take the heat, and you see it through,

Cuz sometimes it comes down to –

Do what you gotta do!

Sometimes it goes right down to the wire,

And you might have to walk through the fire.

Walk on, boy, all the way through.

Sometimes it just comes down to –

Do what you gotta do!

Well, there’s people that’ll tell ya it’s just no use,

And there’s people that’ll tell ya that you’re gonna lose,

People that’ll tell ya anything you’re gonna listen to.

Do what you gotta do!

Someday, they’re going to call your name.

They’ll come lookin’ for someone to blame.

What’s your name, boy?

Hey, you just tell the truth,

Cuz they can’t take the truth from you.

So do what you gotta do!

Well, they’ll call you a hero or a traitor,

But you’ll find out that sooner or later

Nobody in this world is gonna do it for you.

Do what you gotta do!

Well, there ain’t nobody in this world that’s gonna do it for you.

Do what you gotta do!

                                                                                    Garth Brooks

My son, Keegan, was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  CF is caused by a defective gene which causes the body to produce abnormally thick and sticky fluid, called mucus.  This mucus builds up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas, the organ that helps to break down and absorb food.  This collection of sticky mucus results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestion problems.  The disease may also affect the sweat glands and a man’s reproductive system.

Millions of Americans carry the defective CF gene but do not have any symptoms.  That’s because a person with CF must inherit two defective CF genes — one from each parent.  An estimated 1 in 29 Caucasian Americans have the CF gene.  The disease is the most common, deadly, inherited disorder affecting Caucasians in the United States.  It’s more common among those of Northern or Central European descent.  As I’ve stated before, my ancestral line is mainly Irish and German.  My ex-husband’s is Irish, German, and Scandinavian.

Most children with CF are diagnosed by age 2.  A small number, however, are not diagnosed until age 18 or older.  These patients usually have a milder form of the disease.  Keegan was diagnosed by the time he was 2 months old.  I’ll discuss that at another time … on the anniversary of his diagnosis.

My CF definition here is in conjunction with my comments of a few weeks back when I discussed his Leap Day birthday and how he felt he had 2 birthdays on those years when there was no Leap Day.  I continued on with the train of thought by stating that really he has 3 birthdays and that I would discuss that at another time.  Guess what?  Now is that time!  Surprise!

Keegan fought for life throughout his entire existence.  He had that “never give up” attitude and that “do what you gotta do” philosophy that my father raised me to have and that I raised my children to have, where you “do what you gotta do” in the face of any challenge.

Therefore, when Keegan was told at the age of 12 that he had only 50% lung capacity and that he might need to get a lung transplant to be able to continue life, he never thought twice about it.  He chose to go for it.  I of course wanted him to have that transplant, but I never pushed it one way or the other.  It’s a very, very, VERY difficult row to hoe, and it would be his battle with my help, so it was his choice.  He chose to go for it.

At the time, we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He was therefore scheduled for tests with the world-renowned transplant team at Stanford University Hospital.  Lung transplants at the time were not that common in adults, let alone children, but they agreed to meet with him and me, although they gave us no guarantees.  They only picked the most likely and most motivated candidates.  They turned down more hopefuls than they accepted and the wait for child-sized organs was longer than adult.

Keegan and I were interviewed (as were his father and his siblings) at the age of 12.  They liked his attitude and his medical support network.  They accepted him!  We were ecstatic, but it was contingent on many medical tests.

He went through testing … and we were given the news that he was TOO SICK from his CF to obtain a transplant.  They didn’t think that (1) he’d make it to transplant or (2) he’d survive the transplant surgery.  We were devastated, but we asked if there were alternatives.  We were told that the only alternatives were to try another lesser transplant program to see if they’d accept us and/or to try to improve his health.

They were more encouraging to try another program.  Now, we were agreeable to that and would have taken him anywhere he needed to go in the world for whatever treatment he needed, but we knew Stanford’s reputation so we asked what their suggestions would be to improve his health.

We were told that we wouldn’t have the stamina or will-power to do what needed to be done.

Sometimes it comes down to … do what you gotta do …

“Yeah?  Try us.”

It’s hard work.

“We don’t care.  TELL US WHAT TO DO.”

You won’t want to.

TELL US!!!!!!!!!!!!”

By that time, both Keegan and I were shouting.

So they outlined it out.  We brought home their recommendations, started sending inquiries to other programs, and got to work on improving his health.

I’ll cut the story shorter here and say … a year later, Keegan was put on the transplant list for a double lung transplant … at the age of 13½ … younger than almost any other … through Stanford University Hospital; Palo Alto, CA … by the late Dr. James Theodore, one of the very original pioneers of heart-lung transplantation.

Sometimes it goes right down to the wire,

And you might have to walk through the fire.

Walk on, boy, all the way through.

Sometimes it just comes down to –

Do what you gotta do!

Well, there’s people that’ll tell ya it’s just no use,

And there’s people that’ll tell ya that you’re gonna lose,

People that’ll tell ya anything you’re gonna listen to.

Do what you gotta do!

Now, the wait was long:  2½ years to be exact.  He nearly died several times.  He could no longer attend school and was being home-schooled by me and some teachers that the school district set up.  Some of his friends would visit.  Some of them were so afraid of his illness that they no longer contacted him.  He and I became almost inseparable because I was his main caregiver.  We’d find things to keep his spirits up.  He did his school work.  He was goofy and colored his hair with the seasons to keep his spirits up (orange at Halloween, red & blue on the 4th of July, red & green at Christmas; and a bright green on St Patrick’s Day).  He was called one time for transplant near Halloween, but the lungs were disqualified due to damage and he was sent home.  We were devastated.  However, March 19 … tomorrow … is Keegan’s “other” birthday … his “Transplant Birthday” … made possible by a caring wonderful donor family (who we’ve met and who was able to meet Keegan also) who donated the organs of their beloved daughter who died at the age of 20.

This is a bittersweet anniversary/birthday.  I mourn the loss of their beloved Brandy.  I rejoice in the fact that they had the generosity to provide the gift of life to a very sick 16-year-old boy who probably wouldn’t have lived another month when he received that ultimate gift.  We are still in contact with his donor family all these years later.

Suffice it to say, for now at least, that on March 18th, 2000, the day after St Patrick’s Day, on an unseasonably nice Saturday afternoon at approximately 3:15 pm, Stanford Hospital called my cell phone, one that I myself had splurged on and purchased when Keegan was put on the transplant list, because, at the time, the only thing available for the hospital to provide us was a pager if they couldn’t contact us.  Cell phone technology hadn’t become as widespread as it is now.  For me, it’s like the times I went into labor with my children before birth.  It was like going into labor the day before the birth.  It was exciting and terrifying at the same time.  I knew that he could die from CF or the transplant at any time, but we were willing to fight to get the life he craved.

But you’ll find out that sooner or later

Nobody in this world is gonna do it for you.

Do what you gotta do!

He never skipped a beat.  He took a fast shower so he’d be “clean” for the doctors.  He packed up his school books and homework, so he’d “have something to do in the hospital after surgery” and so he “wouldn’t get behind his classmates” (he always knew it would be fine).  He walked out the door sporting lime green hair from St Patrick’s Day and a green Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

Stanford Hospital doctors, nurses, and staff will never forget the transplant patient with the bright green hair.

bluehair

I wish I’d had the foresight to take his picture when we’d left for his transplant, but I didn’t.

I was a bit unnerved by it all, to say the least.

Here’s the best I can do with a picture taken just a few weeks earlier.

His hair had been dyed blue for his birthday.

Those that understand CF will know and see how very sick this boy was at the time.

They’ll also see that fighter’s spirit shining in his eyes.

Read Full Post »

… uhhhhhhh … I’ll pass, thanks anyway though …

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »